View Full Version : Stripped out oil pan plug hole
04-30-2001, 10:01 PM
Somehow I stripped out the oil pan drain plug hole on my Chevy Blazer.. Not just burred or damaged the threads, A sliver of the metal wound around the drain plug bolt came out. I tried re-tapping it with the original size which is 1/2"-20 fine thread but like I said, the hole is now a tad bit too big for that damn 1/2"-20 thread per inch bolt. I tried putting different tapes and so forth on the bolt but of course that type rig wasn't going to fly.
I think I just have to go up 1 size and re-tap it, then use the same size bolt and thread. By my chart that would be 9/16"-18 NF plug tap and same size bolt.
Does this sound correct? Any other suggestions that would be easier. I just need a leak proof solution at the drain plug hole.
04-30-2001, 11:46 PM
Actually, there's a cheap, easy fix. It's somewhat "half assed", but it works. I have used it myself before, with excellent results. It a HELP! drain plug. HELP! is a display rack at most auto parts stores that has common items, such as door handles, window cranks, brake cable clips, etc. They have rubber drain plugs, that come with a little plastic screwdriver looking tool to install and remove them. When I used to work in a shop, cars came in all the time with them on the oil pan. We had a supply of them on hand in case we needed to replace them. I had one on my 80 GMC for a year, and it never leaked, and I changed the oil a few times with no problems. When I swapped my motor, I had a different oil pan to put on, so I did. Otherwise, I'd still have that rubber drain plug in there, and a spare in the glove box. They have a tendancy to break into two pieces after a few oil changes, but at less than $5 each, it's smart to use a new one each time you change your oil. Half the problem I think was that newer drain plugs use a nylon washer to seal the drain plug, and some of us have a tendancy to overtighten them. They tend to leak if you don't use a new nylon washer with each oil change. Sometimes you learn the hard way, and overtighten to the point that you strip the drain plug, that's how I learned. The damn thing leaked, I overtightened, and stripped it. My "new" oil pan uses a nylon washer, and I replace it everytime I change my oil.
I don't have any oil pans handy to look at right now, but I believe that where the plug threads in is fairly thin (for that matter, so is the whole pan) and I don't know if it's possible to use a larger size plug.
I think Chuck's suggestion would be the best way to go.
05-01-2001, 12:04 AM
Thanks Chuck for the info. I've got my rig sitting out front with no oil and my trailer hooked up and I have a fairly busy day lined up tomorrow. If you're still up and see this response, let me know if I got this straight. These "HELP" rubber drain plugs work when the threads of the OIL PAN are stripped, yes? Not just the bolt itself.
05-01-2001, 12:43 AM
They even work when there is still threads left!
05-01-2001, 12:50 AM
Thanks 75. I've been surfing around on the net and agree with your remark about where the plug goes in the oil pan is fairly thin skinned diameter wise. Sounds like a bad idea for me to try and go a size larger via tap. Would probably open up a whole new can of worms and be looking at a new oil pan for solution. I'll take Chuck's advice.
05-01-2001, 04:34 AM
just get whole new oil pan. Or a used one. No sense messing around with your oil system. If the thing goes out and you happen to not paying attention to the gauges then by by engine.
05-01-2001, 11:57 AM
The Help! rubber plug is the best and easiest solution to your prob. To make them last longer, take a rattail file and file the rest of the striped threads out of the hole. That way there is no sharp edges to cut the rubber plug.
On a lot if rigs changing a pan in the frame is not an option. I'd go with the rubber plug and at some point if the engine is out, put on a new pan
05-02-2001, 12:09 AM
I got my problem solved in 10 minutes this morning. The napa auto parts store I went to didn't carry the help rubber plugs. He said he didn't like them for some reason or other. He recommended a self tapping drain plug made for the very reason I needed it, stripped out oil pan threads. It was just a tad bigger than the original. It went in great and snugged up better than the original. (Came with the washer also). Cost $2.83. Made me a happy camper. Thanks for input to all.
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